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January 09, 2019

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Total immersion into the environment with provided artist cabin.
Interior of artist cabin, an original Sears and Roebuck house.
'Photosynthesis' by Myung You Gyun, AIR '14 located at Bernheim's visitor center.
Artist Studio located on 45 acres of Lake Nevin in Bernheim's arboretum.
View from the amazing Canopy Tree Walk.

Bernheim Artist in Residence Program

Bernheim residency applications have a deadline for submission by midnight EST, January 21st, 2019.

For current application information:

The Artist in Residence Program promotes multi-disciplinary explorations of our relationship with the natural environment through artistic expression, expanding upon Bernheim’s long history of art in the landscape. The Artist in Residence Program is available to all visual artists in any medium. Applicants may be emerging or established artists on a regional, national or international level.

Artists are encouraged to use this residency to further investigate, experiment, and explore avenues in their work. Bernheim is most interested in work that furthers expands the artist’s practice and the interplay between visual art and the natural world. This program enhances the visitor experience through interaction with art and artists while fulfilling Bernheim’s mission of “connecting people to nature”, through the lens of art. Bernheim believes that if people recognize and benefit from the value found in nature, quality of life would be enhanced, hence motivating them to protect the natural world for both its practical and intrinsic value.

The Bernheim Artist in Residence is awarded to up to four artists a year who are selected to create works within the forest and/or arboretum that are inspired by and potentially installed in the natural world. The residency provides the artist an opportunity to advance their skills and career while enhancing awareness of Bernheim’s goals and mission regionally, nationally and internationally. Recipients are required to live and create work at Bernheim for a minimum of six weeks to three months. Bernheim will provide comfortable housing in a beautiful wooded setting, access to studio space and an honorarium of up to $2,500.00 USD. In exchange, artists will create a site-specific sculpture, artwork, temporary installation or project as a donation to the Bernheim. The selected artists will be given access to Bernheim’s grounds and some limited support by operations, forest and horticulture staff, if required.

Recipients will also be asked to interact with the public, which may include but is not limited to participating in interactive works, the development of or the making of the work, workshops and/or lectures, participation in one of Bernheim’s programs or annual events, such as CONNECT. (Please see for descriptions of programs, research and events.) Artists are encouraged to submit proposals that include suggested forms of public engagement that reinforce Bernheim’s mission of “connecting people with nature” and extending that mission with communities within and beyond Bernheim’s physical borders.

Bernheim and the recipient will reach an agreement together regarding the work to be donated and the proposed public interaction.


Clermont, Kentucky: United States

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a private, non-profit educational and recreational nature preserve, located on a beautiful 16,000+ acre property, 25 miles south of Louisville in Clermont, Kentucky. Bernheim also includes a nationally recognized 600 acre Olmsted designed arboretum with over 8,000 specimens of plants. The combined property is equal to the size of Manhattan and is the largest area of private, protected land east of the Mississippi River. Bernheim, founded in 1929 by philanthropist Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, opened to the public in 1950. Open throughout the year, more than 250,000 visitors connect with nature annually, by enjoying over 40 miles of hiking trails, a Canopy Tree Walk, a Children’s Play Garden, year-round educational programs and special events. See for more information.


  • Residency Length: 6 weeks to 3 months. Some artists also come for long weekends through out year.
  • Average number of artists in residence at a time: 1-2
  • Number of artists accepted in most recent year: 3
  • Total applicant pool in most current year: 155


  • Application type: Open application
  • Collaboration: May apply as a team
  • Geography: Open to US artists, Open to non-US artists
  • Application deadline: January 21
  • Additional deadline info:
    Midnight EST

Past Residents & Quotes

Past residents: 
Past residents include Ray Metzker, Christopher Burkett, Lynn Geesaman, Karl Ciesluk, Ludwika Ogorzelec, Barbara Cooper, Hirumo Saiki, Yvonne Mullock, Julie Oldham, Todd Smith, Stephen Ausherman, Heike Endemann, Mei-ling Hom, Svryna Lupien, Firat Erdim, Myung Gyun You, Don Pollack, David Sharpe, Eileen Neff, JW Fike and Sharon Harper.
I can't tell how life changing my experience at Bernheim was, it really changed the whole way I made work. It holds a very special place in my heart and whenever I apply for things, it's a whole body of work I still refer to.
— Yvonne Mullock
Bernheim began the visiting artist program in 1980. The early artists in residence were primarily photographers, but as contemporary art making practices grew and Bernheim grew and evolved, we decided that we could include artists who work directly within nature or science, in order to connect more visitors with nature through art.
— Martha Winans Slaughter, Visual Arts Coordinator 2011-2017

Facilities & Services

  • Housing: Private housing (individual apartment/cabin/house)
    Bernheim will provide housing in a one-room artist cabin with kitchen, AC, heating, Wi-Fi, a log-burning fireplace, accessible from outside the arboretum in a beautiful wooded setting. Other lodging options are potentially available if several artists work as a team.
  • Meals: No meals/food provided
    In addition to a kitchen to make meals, there is Issacs, a cafe open daily at the Visitor Center from 11-4 which offers soups, salads, sandwiches and seasonal fare prepared with food grown in Bernheim's edible garden.
  • Computer/internet access: Wireless Internet
  • Companions: Pets Allowed
    Partners, spouses or teams may stay as long as they are part of the art-making practice.
  • Accessibility: no
    The studio and the arboretum are accessible.
  • Studios/special equipment: Exhibition / Installation, Painting, Photography (digital), Sculpture, Woodworking
  • Additional studio information: 
    The Artist Studio is located on the edge of a 45 acre lake. It has good light and heat. The is no special art making equipment.
  • Other facilities and services: The horticulture and operations departments, as well as staff ecologists, scientists, naturalists and forest managers are supportive of the Arts in Nature program. They are able to provide guidance and support of Artist in Residence projects.

Residency Fees

There are no residency or application fees, but artist is responsible for all travel and other living expenses while in residence.

Stipends / other support

The recipient is required to live and create work at Bernheim for a minimum of six weeks to three months. Bernheim will provide comfortable housing in a beautiful wooded setting, plus a honorarium of $2,500.00. Recipients of a Bernheim Regional Artist in Residence can expect to receive a minimum of $1000 honorarium. Travel and other expenses are not included.

Additional expectations / opportunities

The residency must include some form of public engagement. Artists are encouraged to submit proposals that include suggested forms of public engagement that reinforce Bernheim’s mission of “connecting people with nature” and extending that mission with communities within and beyond Bernheim’s physical borders.

Contact Information

Tel: (502) 955-8512